If you are injured in a car accident in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, you are likely worried about how you will pay your medical bills. Even minor car accidents can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in medical care expenses. The good news is that in Florida, individuals who are injured in a car accident can use their own insurance or the insurance of the at-fault party to pay medical bills. But going through this process can take a long time and doesn’t address how to manage your bills in the weeks or months after your accident. In this blog, we provide information on how to address short-term and long-term medical bill payments following a car accident on the Treasure Coast.
Florida’s PIP Insurance Policy
In Florida, all drivers are legally required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Irrespective of fault in the accident, you must first utilize and exhaust your PIP coverage. PIP insurance covers 80% of accident-related medical expenses, up to the $10,000 limit per covered individual. This includes expenses for services such as ambulance rides, emergency room visits, doctor appointments, and treatments. It’s crucial to note that you must seek initial medical care within 14 days of the accident to have your medical expenses covered.
PIP Insurance vs. Health Insurance
Following a car accident on the Treasure Coast, you have the option to use both your PIP insurance and your health insurance. However, it’s important to understand that health insurance typically won’t cover certain costs like lost wages, services you can no longer perform, or death benefits. This makes PIP insurance a more flexible option compared to most health insurance plans.
If you have a high deductible with your health insurance, PIP can be advantageous because in Florida, $1,000 is the maximum deductible you’ll need to cover. However, if you reach the $10,000 PIP limit, your health insurance can help cover any additional medical expenses. If you lack health insurance or your insurer is resisting upfront payments while you pursue compensation for damages from the accident, it’s crucial to contact an attorney immediately. You should not have to bear the financial burden of someone else’s reckless behavior.
Do you have additional insurance coverage on your auto policy?
In many cases, $10,000 may not suffice to cover your medical bills after an accident. Therefore, it’s advisable to consider additional coverage on your auto insurance policy. Specifically, we recommend that all Treasure Coast residents carry underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage, as 1 in 5 drivers in Florida do not have insurance!
Other ways to pay your medical bills after an accident
In addition to your PIP and health insurance, there are other avenues to secure compensation for your medical expenses, particularly if you are not at fault for the accident.
- The at-fault driver’s insurance company: In certain cases, the insurance company of the at-fault driver may be responsible for covering your medical bills and damages. To pursue this, you’ll need to establish liability and file an accident claim. Hiring an experienced Treasure Coast accident attorney will be vital for ensuring you receive full and fair compensation.
- The at-fault driver’s employer: If the at-fault driver was on the job at the time of the accident, you may have the option to hold their employer accountable for negligence. For instance, if a company pressured a commercial driver to work beyond federally permitted hours or failed to provide proper training, they may be liable for your medical expenses and other damages resulting from a car accident you didn’t cause.
- Other third parties: Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, other third parties may also be held responsible for your medical bills. For example, if you sustain injuries due to a tire blowout and a manufacturer knowingly allowed the defective tire to remain on the market, they could be held liable.
- Legal action: If none of the above options fully cover your expenses, you may need to take legal action against the at-fault party to seek compensation for your medical bills. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process.
Keep records of all your medical treatments and expenses
It’s important to keep detailed records of all medical treatments, bills, and related expenses. Additionally, document the details of the accident, gather witness information, and take photos if possible. This documentation will be valuable when working with your insurance company or when pursuing a legal claim. Remember that laws and insurance policies may change over time, so it’s advisable to consult with an attorney for the most up-to-date guidance specific to your situation.
Injured in an accident in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach or Okeechobee?
Call Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd immediately at 866-930-6435
If you are involved and/or injured in an accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, the best thing you can do is call our office and speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Free of charge, we will set-up an in-person or over-the-phone consultation to help you understand your rights and what your next steps should be.
The Treasure Coast Car Accident Attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents on the Treasure Coast. We’re experienced, local, and on your side.
Schedule your FREE case review by calling 866-930-6435